The Missing Picture (Original French Version) 2014 NR

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(13) IMDb 7.3/10
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THE MISSING PICTURE explores filmmaker Rithy Panh's quest to create the missing images during the period when the Khmer Rouge ruled over Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. Panh uses intricately detailed clay figurines intercut with archival footage he could find to relay what is indelibly recorded in his memory, he creates the missing pictures of what does not exist in photograph or film.

Starring:
Randal Douc, Jean-Baptiste Phou
Runtime:
1 hour 37 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

The Missing Picture (Original French Version)

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Rithy Panh
Starring Randal Douc, Jean-Baptiste Phou
Studio Strand Releasing
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Not everyone, obviously, but as a whole.
Andrew Ellington
A few more days visiting temples and cities, rebuilt villages and homes of Kampuchea.
Roy Clark
This is a creative, brilliant and beautiful film.
Carlos Webster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 30, 2014
Format: DVD
This was Cambodia's entrance for the 2014 Oscars as best foreign language film. It tells the story of Rithy Panh who narrates his tale of what happened to him and his loved ones when Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. Renaming it Kampuchea and taking the country back to year zero. He uses a mix of archive footage and clay figures which have been carved by hand to recreate what took place. The missing picture are the parts of history that was not photographed and as such only those who were there can bear witness to the atrocities that took place.

When the capital Pnom Penh was emptied - over two million people were uprooted and moved into the countryside. They had every modern thing taken away and were only allowed the clothes on their back - except the shoes and a spoon. The clothes had to be dyed black. They were forced to work in the collectivised camps often doing menial back breaking work that had no real value except to crush the will of the people. The individual as a concept was ended - the party was all that mattered. Death and disease were rampant and this is all told using the clay figures. The Khmer Rouge used to fire slogans at the people all day so that even now Rithy Panh can remember them all verbatim - like `Each being will be a revolutionary or fertiliser for rice'.

There are scenes of animal cruelty here from the archives too as well as humans being mistreated. It can be a difficult watch in places but the narrative is often quite poetic. It is all in French with good subtitles. A very moving and sad account of what this poor man went through and told in an unusual medium. Whilst it may seem to be less immediate because of the little figurines, it still packs quite a punch when you hear what took place in 1975 to 1979 to a country the world seemed to have forgotten about.
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Format: DVD
History, it is said, is written by the victors. But sometimes, it is the victims - or more accurately, the survivors - who get to do the writing. That is the case with Rithy Panh, a Cambodian who survived the horrors of life under the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Panh was a mere child when he suffered the loss of his parents and siblings in the various grueling work camps to which they had been consigned. As an adult, Panh went on to become a documentary filmmaker dedicated to telling his story to the world. It was a purge aimed mainly at the intelligentsia of Cambodian society - the well-off and educated - who posed the greatest threat to the regime's vision of a collectivist agrarian utopia.

Where, Panh asks, are all the pictures of children starving, of people being worked into the grave that more accurately portray the reality of this 20th Century holocaust? Somehow, those were not recorded and preserved for posterity. Instead, we get a series of grainy propaganda images - of workers seemingly happy in their toil, of leaders of the revolution inspiring the masses with their promises of a Communist paradise - that were officially sanctioned by the government. So Panh has taken it upon himself to provide the "missing" pictures the Pol Pot regime failed to provide to the world.

The Oscar-nominated documentary "The Missing Picture" is a stark, haunting illustration of what life was like under Pol Pot's brutal dictatorship. The director alternates between grainy, mostly black-and- white footage taken at the time and diorama-style re-creations using strategically arranged and intricately carved clay figurines.
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I have been interested in Cambodian history since working with some survivors of the Khmer Rouge in the 1980's. I teach history at the high school level and believe my students would be able to understand the horror of it through the use of figurines in the movie. The amount of work and detail in the carvings is incredible. I found the movie fascinating.
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Format: DVD
Last year I promised to indulge myself in the many documentaries that were getting buzz and good ink throughout the year. The documentary is a genre that I often unfairly ignore, and I understand that in order for me to embrace film as a whole, I need to embrace all avenues. Just like my gradual warming to the Animated Film genre, it took me a while to fully embrace the Documentary, but once I did my love truly soared.

What I found this year were a number of documentary features that tried unique ways to explore a troubled past/present, and three of them found themselves with Oscar’s stamp of approval (all of them losing to those soul singing sistas). ‘The Square’, which was my favorite of Oscar’s nominees, was the most conventionally told documentary in the mix, but it explored the current political unrest in Egypt with such passion and understanding. ‘The Act of Killing’ was not a film that really sat well with me. Exploring the Indonesian atrocities from a truly cinematic and artistic vantage point seemed like an inspired idea, and yet it didn’t really strike the chords I think it wanted to; at least not for me.

‘The Missing Picture’ rests somewhere in the middle.

‘The Missing Picture’ tells a very tragic and heartbreaking story of one man’s life in politically disastrous Cambodia. Rithy Panh fled the country for Thailand in 1979, after experiencing terrible treatment under the Pol Pot regime. To say that I was unaware of this slice of world history would be a complete understatement, considering that I had never heard of these atrocities in any avenue. Sometimes I feel like Americans as a whole are so horrifically uneducated as to the ways of the world in general. We live in a bubble of comfort and turn our ears away from all that goes on away from us.
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